Gillette Adjustable Razors
Minor Changes to the Slim Design
Gillette Slim Oddity: A N-3 Slim but with a Super Adjustable Base Plate!
1965 and out comes the new Super Stainless coated stainless steel blades. Three years of Slims were packaged with "The Spoiler"
In 1964, Gillette changed the design of the hinge tab of the doors between the J-1 and J-2 manufacturing models. This change most likely improved operation of the door mechanism providing less jams when opening the doors via the twist-to-open knob. As pointed out by one of our readers, Michael Gricksch, there do exist some J-1 models with the new tab (see photo below to the left) and thanks to Kevin Brady, there do exist some J-2 models with the old tab (see photo below to the right). This was typical of Gillette to keep using their supply of old parts while also incorporating the new parts.
A Reference Resource and Historical Archive.
The following Gillette design changes to the Standard Slim were documented by master razor collector Joachim Duwe. He was gracious enough to provide the following photographs of his discoveries.
Below is a J-1 Slim with "new" tabs.
October 16, 1966 The Bridgeport Post (Page 18) the $1.50 Retail packaged Slim with the latest greatest spoiling yourself razor blades.
Older Serif type logo used in 1964
An early Slim still with the non-stainless carbon-steel silicon coated Super Blue Blades 6-Pak; a hold over from the Fatboy era
Here is a 1965 K-3 Slim. Notice the Blue on Light Blue case with Stainless Steel Blades. This was a special baseball edition for only $1.00 retail list price. This was prior to the introduction of the Super Stainless Steel Blades later in the year.
March 10, 2017 1968 N-1 $197.10 (292051786560)
Gillette's Logo Change in 1965
New "modern" San-serif logo used on 1965 K-3 Slim Packaging
1968 N-4 Last Model
June 3, 1962 The Salt Lake Tribune(Page 80) The new Slim, still with Super Blue Blades, being compared to the older Fatboy as trimmer, slimmer, longer and lighter - 45 cents cheaper too!. Also, notice "Sharpie" the animated parrot - pitchman for Gillette.
March 15, 2017 1965 K-3 $260.00 (112330929485)
Outside of Mailer
Here is an odd Gillette Slim. It was manufactured in 1968 near the very end of Slim production. They had just started producing the "Black Beauty" Gillette Super Adjustable so apparently bottom plate parts for both were available at the manufacturing facility and there were no more Standard Slim bottom plates for use or they were out of stock. So some enterprising Gillette employee substituted in bottom plates for the Super Adjustable. Very rare, only two are known to exist. It takes a really good collector's eye to spot one of these! Thanks to Tom Owens for assisting in it's discovery.
Here is an early Slim from 1961, 1962 or 1963. Notice the Gold on White Case. Blades would have been either Gillette Super Blue or Gillette Stainless Steel depending on the year.
March 4, 2017 1968 N-1 $84.00 (381981890191)
March 7, 2017 1965 K-3 $206.00 (112321455078)
September 18, 2017 K-1 $199.00 (232492121145)
1961 G-3 First Model
A free new Stainless Steel Blade sample mailed in 1962-63 mentioning the new Slim Razor.
Inside of Mailer showing the new blade sample.
August 19, 1965 The Arizona Republic (Page 7). Not only was the Slim on a special national promotion for a $1.00 but local retailers were giving them away for only 57 cents. This configuration is after the Super Blue Blades but before "The Spoiler".
The "Slim" Gillette Adjustable razor superseded the Fatboy and had an original retail list price of $1.50 (45 cents less than the Fatboy) which was later adjusted to $1.79. The Slim is made of a very durable nickel plated brass.There are nine adjustment positions on the adjustment dial with "9" being the most aggressive and "1" being the least aggressive. It also has a twist-to-open mechanism at the bottom to allow for changing or rinsing of the blade. There is also a quarter turn to firmly lock the doors down on the razor blade. The Slim compared to the Fatboy has a more compact head, a longer narrower handle and is lighter. The easiest way to recognize a Slim is to look at the adjustment dial; it has both horizontal and vertical knurling as opposed to the Fatboy which has only vertical knurling on the dial. The Slim was produced continuously each quarter from 1961 (G-3) until the last Slim was produced in 1968 (N-4). The G-3 and G-4 Slims overlapped with the end of production of the Fatboy whose last date code was G-4. The G-3 Slims appear to be much more rare than the G-4s giving rise to the theory that Slim production started in the later half of the third quarter and G-4 was the first full quarter of Slim production. The Slim was initially packed with six Super Blue carbon steel blades. Gillette was late to the party with the introduction of stainless steel double edge blades. Its competitors Wilkinson, Schick and American Safety Razor beat Gillette to the market with this type of blade and sales suffered at Gillette until they caught up. But soon in 1962 saw the introduction of Gillette's new stainless steel blades so the Slim was also packed with a reduced count of two Gillette Stainless Blades that year. Fully caught up by 1965, the Gillette Super Stainless Blades 2-Pak was introduced into the Slim packaging in 1965 (K-4); the K-3 Slim still contained the 2-pak of regular Stainless Steel blades. The main difference with the Gillette Super Stainless Steel Blade aka "The Spoiler" was the introduction of a "miracle plastic coating baked onto the edge" - purported to cause a noticeable reduction of "pull". Also, in 1965 Gillette changed their logo from a Serif type font to a more modern looking San-Serif font. The new logo can be see to being used on the third quarter K-3 Slim printed packaging. However, Gillette continued to use the older Serif font logo on their case molding for many more years - plastic molds to expensive to change?.The Slim weighs in at 71 grams.
September 3, 2017 $200.00 (382200120273)
Below is a normal N-2 Slim that is shown for comparison purposes.
In 1962, Gillette changed the design of the bottom edge of the positioning bar/door actuator between the H-3 and H-4 manufacturing models. There do exist some H-4 models with the old style positioning bar/door actuator therefore the change was made in the fourth quarter of 1962. (see photo below to the right.)
A nice gift presentation package from 1964-65
Below is a J-2 Slim with "old" tabs.
November 1964 Gillette Slim Advertisement (Australia)
(AUP-1964 0.21.6 = AUD-1964 2.15 = USD-1964 2.41 = USD-2017 18.94) The Fatboys were all gone in Australia by now, but they are still behind the US products.